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A.D. Anno Domini miniseries (1985) Reconstruction/Fan-Edit (released)

I was inspired by another thread here about an earlier, incomplete attempt to restore this film.

A.D. Anno Domini was broadcast and released in various forms over the years. In the USA, it aired over five nights, during Holy Week 1985, totaling 12 hours (including commercial breaks). Without commercial interruptions, it probably ran somewhere between 9 and 10 hours.

The film is a joint Italian/American production and is a spiritual sequel (pun) to Franco Zeffirelli’s JESUS OF NAZARETH, retaining some of the production personal, most notably writer Anthony Burgess. Set just after the death of Jesus Christ, this miniseries chronicles the life & adventures of Jesus’s disciples, and events in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. (It’s basically a remake of I, CLAUDIUS with the Acts of the Apostles mixed in.)

There is no complete, high quality version of this film available to buy commercially. There was a 5 tape VHS set released at one point in the USA. There is currently an American DVD released by a Christian publisher which has sub-par image and hours of missing scenes. Currently the best picture comes from a German DVD set. The box states the runtime of the DVD set at 506 minutes, and even this set is missing approximately an hour or more of footage. There are also many low-quality VHS rips from different countries on YouTube containing many missing scenes.

I have created a 5-part reconstruction which should be close to the original US broadcast. I used the German DVD for all available footage, and then added in the best quality VHS rips I could find for the missing scenes. My reconstruction runs 9 hours and 42 minutes. One short scene in Part 1 contains non-English dialog (all I could find).

I believe the order of the opening and closing scenes for some of the episodes were changed a bit from the US broadcast for the German DVD. I have restored what I believe to be the US order of scenes.

Requests: Can anyone point towards the original US 5 VHS set for the best possible quality source for missing DVD scenes? And would anyone know of an off-air recording of the USA broadcast, so I can check my work?

All 5 parts on YouTube:

A.D. Anno Domini (1985) (* unfinished project *)

Hi all. I’m new too. This thread spurred me to create my own attempt at a reconstruction of A.D. I have posted the first episode on YouTube here:

I used what appears to be a rip of the German DVD for the vast majority of the runtime. I think this is the best image quality available at this time. The original mini series ran somewhere between 9 and 10 hours without commercial breaks I believe. The German DVD runs about 8 1/2 hours, so it is most of it, but not all of it. It’s much more complete than the current DVD published by a Christian publisher, which is supposed to be about 6 hours and edits out much of the Roman-centric story lines.

I then used various other sources to fill in the missing scenes. There is a low quality, English-language VHS rip that runs 9 hours and 10 minutes. It has most of the missing scenes, but not all of them. In other VHS rips fro other countries, I found even more missing scenes. In episode 1 at least, there was an extra scene of Sejanus and Livilla in bed. I included that scene with the foreign-language audio.

My own personal theory is that the complete broadcast version of A.D. was never released in America. If it was always released by Christian publishers, it is possible they cut the most salacious material from even the longest VHS releases. Just my own theory.

I have ordered a copy of the German DVD set, and I will see if it looks any better than what I already used. I could theoretically also try to source a copy of the US VHS release for a slightly better capture of the missing scenes.

I think Jesus of Nazareth looks spectacular in HD, and I wish we could get a complete HD release of A.D. too. It’s a shame so many of these mini-series from the 80’s aren’t being properly preserved. I’ve been Watching North & South in HD, and I’m loving it.

One more thing. I could use some help. I’ve been publishing to youtube for various compaies for years, but I can’t make my A.D. reconstruction video show up in the search results. What am I doing wrong?